( Calavo )

Led by strong fresh avocado sales, fiscal third-quarter revenues hit a record $359.3 million for Santa Paula, Calif.-based Calavo Growers.

The quarter, which ended July 31, showed revenues 21% above year-ago levels, according to a news release.

In addition, gross profit rose 8% to $35.8 million for the quarter, up from $33.1 million for the same period last year.

“As forecast, Calavo posted strong operating results in the third quarter, maintaining the company’s trajectory toward a record performance this fiscal year,” chairman, president and CEO Lee Cole said in the release. “The fresh segment continues to power overall results, with sales increasing 38% and total gross profit for the segment expanding by 70% in the most recent quarter.”

He said in the release that Calavo’s expertise in avocado sourcing, production and sales management allowed the company to perform well in the most recent quarter, which was characterized by strong consumer demand and a lower overall industry supply.

The company reported Calavo’s third-quarter fresh segment sales rose 38% to $207 million from $149.8 million in the same quarter a year ago.

Higher prices for avocados, along with a double-digit increase in tomato unit sales, drove top-line growth in the segment in the most recent quarter, according to the release.

Total fresh segment (avocados, tomatoes and papayas) unit volume totaled 4.7 million, compared with 4.9 million units in the same quarter a year ago.

Cole said the outlook for the company is positive for the balance of the year.

“Based on our operating performance in the most-recent quarter and fiscal 2019 to date, Calavo enters our final quarter squarely on target to post record revenues and adjusted diluted earnings per share — and I am forecasting an increase of over 20% in adjusted diluted earnings per share,” he said.

Cole said in the release that the company anticipates an increase in fresh segment gross profit for the full year exceeding 50%.

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